A summer camp that took place in western Illinois earlier this month was the site of a massive COVID outbreak that has led to over 85 teens and adult staffers testing positive and at least one person hospitalized.
The camp organizers didn’t require people to be vaccinated. They also didn’t require anyone to wear face masks.
And I didn’t tell you this was a Christian summer camp, but you already figured that out, didn’t you?
The outbreak occurred at Crossing Camp in Rushville. The camp’s website says its “priority is to provide an opportunity to encounter Jesus,” though I guess giving everyone COVID so they get to Heaven quicker is somewhere in the fine print…
The state of Illinois “opened up” on June 11, so it’s possible the people running this camp assumed everything was okay, but the no-mask-needed-anymore rule only applied to those who are vaccinated. To the people who aren’t vaccinated, all safety protocols should still be in place. This camp didn’t seem to care.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported on the outbreak:
“The majority of the 85 COVID-19 cases associated with the youth camp are among teens,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “The perceived risk to children may seem small, but even a mild case of COVID-19 can cause long-term health issues. Additionally, infected youth who may not experience severe illness can still spread the virus to others, including those who are too young to be vaccinated or those who don’t build the strong expected immune response to the vaccine.”
A couple individuals who were at the camp also attended a nearby conference, which resulted in 11 additional cases. At least 70% of those cases were unvaccinated. The vaccines currently authorized in the U.S. have been shown to be effective among individuals who are fully vaccinated, even against the more transmissible and serious variants. Schuyler and Adams counties, where the outbreaks occurred, are seeing approximately 40% of their population fully vaccinated.
40% is dangerously low at this point. The bigger question is why The Crossing (a non-denominational megachurch) decided to sacrifice children by holding a summer camp this month with no safety restrictions. Also, who are these Christian parents sending their unvaccinated teens to summer camp right now when so many things regarding the pandemic remain in flux? It’s so damn irresponsible.
The whole thing is a reminder that even with accessible vaccines, some people are still too ignorant to get their shots. They want to pretend everything is back to normal when they’re the reason things aren’t back to normal. And because of the ignorance of the adults involved with this church, some of their kids may suffer for a lifetime.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Julie for the link)